There are many great exercises in this world and many amazing ways to build them into a workout. But I often get asked by members and clients what are the very best exercises to do. Here is a list of 5 of the most beneficial exercises for anyone looking to better overall fitness. You can use these exercises to design a program that focuses more on specific aspects of fitness but as an overall list these exercises will improve everything from endurance, to power, to flexibility. If you aren’t doing at least some of these exercises you are missing out!
- Front squat – especially the kettlebell front squat (also known as a goblet squat) is a great exercise for developing leg strength as well as focusing more on “core” stability than the back squat and it also carries with it a far less risk of injury. There is a lot of truth in the statement “everybody needs to squat more.” This squat will allow you to find lower depths in your squat as well as teach you to use your trunk to stabilize during the movement. Of course since you are using your legs and using a bigger range of motion you are also increasing your heart rate and burning more calories. Score!
- Turkish Get-Up – especially those done with a kettlebell is a real “full body” exercise! This movement demands you to stabilizing weight overhead while shifting your body beneath the weight, because of this skill you will be developing key stabilizing muscles and doing it in a highly functional way. Getting up from the ground is a fundamentally human pattern, and is scalable for lifelong strength and functional mobility. It’s cardio, it’s strength, it’s ab work, it’s flexibility, it’s skill and technique, and it’s fun!
- Jumping – especially box jumping, jumping is a wonderful way to get back to the basics of human movement. Any form of jumping (jump rope, stair jumping, long jumps, etc.) is an amazing way to increase your cardiac output as well as move your body through space with power. Box jumping in particular is great as it forces you to commit to the movement and use all your power and muscle contraction from your calves all the way up into your glutes, into your core, and even into your arms and shoulders. It’s a full body exercise that will test you physically and mentally and can be done anywhere!
- Push-ups especially gymnastic push-ups. Push-ups are a great way to train your body to move as one. In a proper push-up you move everything together towards the floor (and touch the floor of course!) putting high demands on your core. In a gymnastic push-up you get to take the basic skill and range of motion one step further and increase joint strength and mobility as well as focus more on tricep strength and shoulder mobility. This exercise will train your body from your shoulders to your glutes and really make you aware of where your body is in space.
- Weighted swing especially with the kettlebell. This is hands down one of the best exercises for literally nearly anyone and everyone. The kettlebell swing trains everything from your feet on up to your shoulders. You learn to use your body with power, speed, and aggression. Even more so you learn to use your biggest muscles in combination with supporting muscles to achieve a full body movement. Due to the demand through your core you also get a ton of back strength and bettered stabilizing from smaller muscles. It really gets the heart rate up as well as increasing strength.
If you want to know more about these exercises and other movements that will help you achieve better fitness contact Adriana Brown.